International seminar “Preserving diversity of the Web of Life of the Balkans”, 20 March, 2017 in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia

The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe Europe, within the SWG project: “Strengthening regional capacities for rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in Southeast Europe (LEIWW)”, will support the organization of the International seminar “Preserving diversity of the Web of Life of the Balkans” which will be organized by the Citizens Association “Natura Balkanika” and will be held in the period 19-21.03.2017 in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia.

This seminar represents the synergy of several active projects and activities of partner organizations – NGO “Natura Balkanika”, Faculty of Ecology and SWG. The aim of the seminar is through lectures and workshops the participants to gain knowledge and practical experience on the active preservation of agro and biodiversity in the marginalized rural areas of the Balkans. The focus is on linking food and tourism value chains.

Concrete experiences will be presented and ideas from relevant international ongoing projects: ESSEDRA – N. Balkanika and ABD regions – SWG will be exchanged, as well as the practices of the Faculty of Applied Ecology “Futura” in the field of biologically high value production systems and sustainable tourism in the service of rural development (baseline study Economic of Environment). In this way, the declarative commitments from all regions from the SWG project, that is very important to maintain local biodiversity, will be concretized. The ESSEDRA project – the preservation of indigenous plant and animal species and products from them, will actively exchange knowledge, experiences and ideas after four years of its implementation in the Balkans and in Turkey. Faculty “Futura” will enable access of the large group of its students to the real facts and state of preservation of agro and biodiversity in marginal rural areas of the Balkans. The stakeholder groups from several ABD cross-border regions will present knowledge, experiences and ideas from their regions related to the seminar’s topics.

The second part of the seminar will serve for practical application of the modified method RRA (Rapid Rural Assessment) for exploration of several High Nature Value Farming systems in the Western Balkans, with the participation of students, experts, farmers and entrepreneurs from the ABD regions. In the final discussion, the participants will address the possibilities of cooperation in the joint effort to create and run branding of the ABD regions in the field of linked protection: biodiversity-indigenous products-tourism, as well as promotion of this brand in future PP actions which are under preparation in the newly established, but also in the other cross-border regions.